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Rodic is the hero for Lakenheath

Lakenheath (173) blew open the title race in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two with a 111-run victory over table-topping Haverhill (62) on Saturday.

CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling) v Lakenheath (Batting)...Pictured: Chris Baugh ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (2930133)
CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling) v Lakenheath (Batting)...Pictured: Chris Baugh ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (2930133)

The win has moved Lakenheath to within six points of their visitors, while Braintree in third, and fourth-placed Mildenhall II are just seven and nine points respectively adrift of the summit.

Haverhill went into the encounter with the influential Anthony Philips and Adam Dellar, but Lakenheath were also depleted with the in-form Adam Horrex and Greg Palmer both missing.

Visiting Lakenheath were first to bat on the Manor Road wicket and raced to 113-2 at drinks.

The prolific Dominic Palmer (12) was dismissed in the 11th over, while Chris Baugh (53) registered his first half century for his new club.

Shane Leech (29) was bowled by Harry Harding leaving Lakenheath well placed at 117-3.

However, the good start by the top order was soon undone as mis-timed shots and some debatable umpiring decisions, meant that for the first time this season Lakenheath posted a score of under 200.

Only Rob Horrex (16) and Paul Pallant (31) registered double figures, while Harry Harding’s left-arm spin gave him creditable figures of 7-28.

During tea Lakenheath were aware that 172 was probably not going to be a big enough total, given the quickness of the outfield.

And so it was decided to bowl in certain areas, with the thought that this would make it difficult for the batsman to score fluently.

Danny Rodic bowled with good pace and control and the first wicket fell with the score on 9, well caught by skipper Leech, who was wicketkeeper for the day.

The next wicket to fall was Luke Youngs, the division’s current leading run scorer, again caught by Leech from a Rodic delivery that jagged away and nestled in the keeper’s gloves.

Two overs later the home side were reeling at 11-4 as the Rodic and Leech combination worked again, and Pallant (2-34) also grabbed the other wicket to fall.

Knowing that the Haverhill side batted all the way down, skipper Leech kept the pressure on.

David Brown was the only batsman who coped with Lakenheath’s opening bowlers and it was the Rodicand Leech combination that took the last wicket to bowl Haverhill all out for 62, and give Rodic his best bowling figures (7-24) for the victorious Lakenheath.

Leech’s men will look to keep up the pressure when they host third-from-bottom Kelvedon & Ferring on Saturday (1pm).